We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, January 10. 2010
Most commentators bemoan the decline in readers of the dead-tree editions of major newspapers. Most explanations center on ideological bias of the local newspaper turning off readers or the availability of news on the Internet or the cutting of size of newspaper sections.
In my case, the local newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, is politically centrist most of the time, so I’m not turned off or away. It has cut the size of its sections but mostly eliminated excess, so my time with the paper is better focused. And, yes, the Internet offers more depth and diversity, but one does have to specially search and scan many posts and sites to get the depth, diversity or local news, if one wants it, which takes up lots of time.
The local newspaper, by contrast, handily offers the highlights of national and international news, so I’m aware of them, and if interested can then decide whether to spend more time (than the too much time I already spend) on the Internet.
Most important, I can only find extensive coverage of
And, I can do it all in 10-minutes of scanning the print newspaper. I’d have to spend several-fold longer clicking all the links in the U-T’s online edition and another several-fold longer scanning numerous websites.
Here’s an example of how it works, to quickly connect the dots via the print edition of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
- Page 4 of today’s newspaper has an AP report of a 6.5 earthquake offshore of
- Page 1 headlines “Questionable firms getting stimulus cash” in San Diego (written for the newspaper by an independent investigative news service) with this telling quote:
- Page 1 of the Regional section has a regular columnist’s headline, “Tsunami spending? Wave your money bye.”
In less than 10-minutes to scan the entire, shrunken, print edition I have an investigative report with a top insider’s indictment of wasteful and reckless stimulus spending and two additional specific related examples of how.
Try being aware of that connect the dots online.
In addition, my 9-year old son eagerly reads each morning’s sports section, taking it along to school to discuss with his classmates during lunch. The print edition helps to create a young person interested in knowing more than from the 5-minutes of TV sports news, and being aware of a wider range of sports topics. Those habits will carry over into a later interest in the news.
Across the country, in
But, here’s the “bad” news: the new media hasn’t filled the hole left by declining newspaper resources; instead, government and special interest groups have a freer hand than before to push their own viewpoints with less examination by the media for completeness or truth:
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If I could say the same thing about my local paper I might still subscribe. I do pick it up now & then and have been surprised by its more balanced coverage and editorials. I wonder if they have discovered being off balance has affected their bottom line.
still subscribe to the htfd courant but mainly for sports, xword and word jumble and because the cost is so low (about a buck a week). editorial views and the way news is presented is still very lefty (see dodd resignation coverage).
Today, Sunday, at least the top 20 national and international news stories in the U-T were penned by the kids at the AP. Locally, the U-T can indeed inform us about the "Attempted robbery thwarted at gas station" and "Fire destroys vehicles in Oceanside carport". This San Diego resident long ago terminated the morning driveway litter in favor of more balanced and germane information sources such as, indeed, Maggie's Farm. The MSM has an overabundance of diversity, what they could use is a little more variety.
"The MSM has an overabundance of diversity" as you say, Chazz. What they don't seem to have is the ability to tell the reader "who, what, where, when and why" within the first three paragraphs of a news story, which they are supposed to have learned to do in journalism school. And they also seem to have forgotten, or have never learned, to do solid background research on a feature story. So we get some real 'howlers' perpetrated by these folks who are just too busy to check facts and look things up, even though it is far easier to do so now, with the magic of the Internet, than it was forty years ago.
Nevertheless, we too still subscribe to the daily newspaper here. Like Diogenes, searching for an honest man, we still hope against hope we'll find some nuggets of information that haven't been spun and skewed to fit an agenda.
Nothing wrong with subscribing to the local paper if it fills a need.